I would like to start out by saying that I wasn’t expecting much of this movie considering Netflix only gave it two stars, but l held out hope because the movie contained three people I like: Donald Glover (from the T.V. show Community), Olivia Wilde (from the movie re-make Tron) and Evan Peters (from the T.V. show American Horror Story). Just a warning that Evan Peters doesn’t play a very big role in this movie.
Here is a brief synopsis of what The Lazarus Effect is about. A group of scientists and a film student engage in a scientific experiment of returning people to life. The idea is to give doctors a second chance to bring patients back from the brink of death, but the results are beyond explanation. The movie debates a topic that is often prevalent in both the cinema and in real life. The topic of science verses religion. Zoe, played by Olivia Wilde, believes that people experience a “crossing over” moment before they reach an afterlife. Her fiancée, Frank, played by Mark Duplass believes that a near death experience can be explained by chemicals the brain releases.
Plot sound familiar? Well, if it does, that’s because it is somewhat similar to a movie you may remember from the 1990’s, Flatliners, starring Julia Roberts and Kiefer Sutherland. Does that mean you shouldn’t watch this movie? Hell no! I personally LOVED the movie Flatliners and this particular theme, in my opinion, is interesting enough to bring up more than once in movie history. Granted, The Lazarus Effect puts its own spin on the subject. Flatliners is more “touchy feely” and suspenseful while The Lazarus Effect is more action packed.
Would I recommend this movie to you? Well, I think if you are a fan of the previously mentioned film Flatliners and also the movie Hollow Man starring Kevin Bacon, then you will probably like it. I would say that this is a good example of a movie that just got a bad rap because it was classified in the wrong category. This is NOT a horror movie. You will be sorely disappointed if you’re hoping that it is. This movie is definitely more accurately classified as science fiction. There are also two other things I liked about this movie. First of all, it gave me an opportunity to see Donald Glover in a more serious role. I loved him as Troy in Community and I think he does have a lot of potential as an actor. That being said, it was a little difficult not seeing him as Troy….BUT I do look forward to seeing him in other serious roles as well. Hopefully that makes sense.
I also enjoyed seeing Olivia Wilde in her role. I absolutely loved her in the movie Drinking Buddies (great movie by the way-kind of an offbeat comedy also starring Jake Johnson from New Girl) so I was looking forward to seeing what she could do here. Wilde has a knack for being the strong female friend that all the boys crush on, so it was nice seeing her as a damsel in distress (that doesn’t really give anything away).
This movie deserves three stars. If you’re looking for something entertaining, but not too serious then this is a good movie to watch. I would consider it a good first date movie or one to watch with a best friend. Big groups probably wouldn’t care for it since there isn’t a whole lot of scare factor. Overall I enjoyed it. Is it a movie that you can watch over and over again? Not sure. I would say I’d probably watch it at least one more time.
If you’re curious, here is a trailer of the movie.
Also, just for fun, here is a trailer of both Flatliners and Hollow Man.